Overwatch 2 Matchmaking Explained | Ranking System, Controversy and More

An Ultimate Guide to Overwatch 2 Matchmaking

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đź’ˇ Highlights

  • Overwatch 2 has a hidden Matchmaking Rating (MMR) that determines your skill level, separate from your visible Skill Rating (SR).
  • Matchmaking tries to keep your win rate at 50%, regardless of skill.
  • Matches are often unbalanced, with one team dominating the other.
  • Ranked play requires 50 games to unlock, then 5 wins or 15 losses to change rank.
  • Matchmaking suffers from low player numbers and bugs that disable maps.
  • Developers promise improvements to matchmaking and rank updates in future seasons.
  • Playing with a coordinated team can help overcome matchmaking issues.

Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play, team-based first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It’s a sequel to Overwatch, with over 30 heroes, improved maps, and a 5v5 format with locked roles. The game includes several modes, both casual and ranked, and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC. Although the game seemed promising at first, players, including myself, encountered huge problems. Overwatch 2 matchmaking looks absolutely terrible, and since many people wonder why is Overwatch 2 matchmaking so bad, I decided to write an article about this and share my opinion on what is wrong with this game and how it could be improved. I hope you find it interesting and helpful.

overwatch 2 matchmaking broken
Image Credit: Overwatch 2 Steam Store Page

About Overwatch 2 Matchmaking

Overwatch 2 has been facing criticism for its matchmaking system. Despite Blizzard’s efforts to improve the situation, players (including me!) are still dissatisfied with the quality of matches. The matchmaking system is one of the main aspects of this game, as it balances matches and rankings of the players. However, it seems that the system simply fails to do so.

On Reddit, there are thousands of messages about the problems with Overwatch 2 matchmaking. Here are just some of the quotes from active players:

“I have made 40 games over the last few days (competitive), and half of them were stomp for one side. And I currently play on Master 2, so on a rank where people usually know how the game works. I don’t know what else to write except that this is unacceptable.”

“Yeah they have told us multiple times now that they improved matchmaking. But I see no difference now then to release of ow2.”

“It’s been terrible. I’ve lost 40 games in a row.”

Why are there so many complaints about the Overwatch 2 unranked matchmaking? Let’s dive deeper, and you’ll understand why.

How Does Overwatch 2 Matchmaking Work?

In order to unlock access to the Role Queue and Open Queue match selection modes, a new player must play 50 matches.

In the Role Queue, the player chooses what role they want to play in a given match. Each team has the following positions available: one Tank, two Damage Dealers, and two Supports.

In Open Queue, players do not need to specify a role before the start of the match. But, in this case, you may often have situations where you do not have Supports on your team or, for example, all players have chosen DD.

overwatch 2 matchmaking explained
Image Credit: Overwatch 2 Steam Store Page

About Overwatch 2 MMR And SR

Players receive an individual Matchmaking Rank (MMR). This is a hidden value that approximately corresponds to the skills of each player. The game assigns a certain rank to the player. Then, at the beginning of each season, the player must win 5 matches or lose 15 matches in order to receive their starting rank. After that, to increase the rank, you need 5 victories or 15 defeats to decrease it. 

There is also a player’s Skill Rating (SR). Within each rank, there are 5 divisions. Classic ones include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Also, Master and Grandmaster are considered the highest ranks. By playing in the ranking mode, you can earn points, for which some skins will become available to you. 

So, SR refers more to the statistics of winning and losing matches. MMR is intended to more accurately reflect a player’s individual skill and is a hidden parameter.

Player Problems With Overwatch 2 Matchmaking

The rating system looks simple and understandable for most players, especially beginners. But this is only at first glance when you haven’t played enough hours yet to catch the nuances. Experienced players are very critical of the unbalanced Overwatch 2 matchmaking, and there are many reasons for that.

  • The hidden system for calibrating your MMR rating is the first reason that causes great indignation among players. The game itself decides what rank to calibrate you to, and there are no specifics about how it actually works. When you play the game for quite a long time, you notice problems with the matchmaking balance, especially when you get into a series of losing streaks.
  • Another big problem is the very low number of players on the server, which makes Overwatch 2 matchmaking problems even more noticeable.
  • There are also a huge number of bugs in the game that break the balance. The developers often disable certain maps for a long time.
  • They also changed the On Fire system, which shows who is the MVP and which player made the most impact in the match. The main change is that now, you can’t see what affects the MVP indicator. Also, this status can be taken away when a player is killed. This is another change that experienced players perceive very negatively.

All these Overwatch 2 matchmaking changes, as well as the technical part and the developer’s decisions, mean that the number of players online will only fall. Thus, the game’s future looks vague.

Is The Overwatch 2 Ranking System Broken?

Yes, I and many other players agree that the Overwatch 2 ranking system is broken. No matter how well you play, all your matches will resemble a seesaw where you win a couple of rounds, then lose, and vice versa. Or, the matches are selected so that you can have a series of winning streaks and almost get to Platinum, and then lose 15 games in a row and lower your rank.

In other competitive games, you reach your rank quite quickly since you first play against players weaker than you, and then the game balances you at 50%, leaving you at a level equal to your skill. However, here, you are simply forced to play the game more. It doesn’t matter how well you play: if the game thinks you should lose in a match, you will have a team of weak players and a very strong enemy so you don’t deviate too much from 50%. 

Overwatch 2’s Matchmaking Impact On The Community

The player community is outraged by such huge problems with the game. Gaming bloggers are actively expressing their emotions concerning the shortcomings of Overwatch 2 matchmaking on media platforms.

Another big problem that the game has caused is that higher-rated players (Diamond and higher) are taking screenshots of the usernames of players with lower ranks they’ve played with. They write insulting comments about such players, disparaging their skills. However, it is not the problem of weaker players since it is the system that has thrown them into a match with strong, high-level players. This mistake by the developers leads to the development of toxicity and abuse in the gaming community.

Possible Fix For The Problem

One of the main problems is the low number of players online. However, this can be fixed if Bizzard tries hard since many players loved the first part and enjoyed spending a lot of time in the game.

It is also necessary to improve the technical side of the game to fix all these bugs that break the balance, due to which the developers simply have to turn off the maps for a long time.

Also, one of the biggest issues, in my opinion, is Blizzard’s failure to fulfill its promise and the cancellation of a large-scale PVE mode with cooperative story missions of the game. This, in fact, was the main reason for the release of Overwatch 2 and my reason for waiting for this part. The developers are gradually adding PVE content from that very canceled mode, but there is very little of it, and it must be purchased separately.

As for Overwatch 2 matchmaking, maybe it would be even better to leave it as it was in the first part of the game. For example, it’s worth removing the invisible MMR or aligning it with your visible SR rating, just like in all similar competitive games. This would allow the system to select players of approximately the same level for matches. It’s also worth removing the balance of 50% and allowing players to play at their real level.

What The Developers Say

Blizzard has certainly responded to the many player complaints about Overwatch 2 matchmaking. The company has announced that it is focusing on creating a system where players of equal skill levels are matched to each role (Tank, Support, Damage). This means that even if a Platinum-level Damage player is paired up with a Silver-tier Tank player, both teams will have the same skill difference. Blizzard has stated that it will be working on this broken Overwatch 2 matchmaking system over the next few months, but significant changes need to be made before the launch of the next season.

With a new season just around the corner, we have some big promises from the Blizzard regarding the matchmaking system, for exmple:

  • The competitive play system will be updated based on feedback to better show how and why your rank changes after each match.
  • You will now see your rank update after every competitive match, along with modifiers that explain factors impacting the change like defeating a favored team.
  • To start fresh with the gameplay changes this season, there will be 10 new placement matches to determine your starting rank after a reset of all players’ current ranks.
  • Placement matches are high stakes and your performance will greatly impact your new rank. You’ll see a predicted starting rank after each placement match.
  • You only get one chance at your seasonal placement matches so pick your best heroes and focus up because these games matter a lot for your initial rank.
overwatch 2 matchmaking system
Image Credit: Overwatch 2 Steam Store Page

Tired Of Constant Defeats? Play As A Well-coordinated Team!

Despite everything said above, you can enjoy the game and improve your rank if you already have a team of five motivated players. If you don’t have such a team and, like me, are annoyed by the current Overwatch 2 matchmaking system, I recommend that you use the Overwatch LFG feature and find teammates on GameTree.

This app allows video game lovers to meet other players and agree to play together. Artificial intelligence will select gaming friends for you with similar skills and preferences, and, believe me, it will do it much better than Blizzard’s system! By assembling a well-coordinated team, you can enjoy playing Overwatch and develop your characters. Try out GameTree, and you’ll see the difference!

Final Thoughts

Overwatch 2 is still a unique game with tons of potential and a nice visual style. This franchise has a very large base of loyal fans, and it is sad to see how the latest decisions of the developers resemble one step forward and two steps back. Matchmaking in the game leaves much to be desired and causes a lot of resentment among players. However, if the developers listen to the voices of loyal fans, they can still improve the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Skill Based Matchmaking In Overwatch 2?

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No. Your ranking games are matched based on your internal matchmaking rating (MMR), regardless of your displayed SR skill level.

How Does Overwatch 2 Matchmaking Work?

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A player must play 50 qualifying games and is then assigned an individual Matchmaking Rank (MMR), which roughly matches their skills and assigns them a specific level. Based on this, two game search modes become available to them – Role Queue and Open Queue.

Is Overwatch 2 Matchmaking Fair?

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No, because the game forcibly tries to keep account statistics at 50% of victories. Your skill cannot radically change anything, especially if you play alone.

Why Is OW2 Matchmaking So Bad?

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The Overwatch 2 ranking system is broken. A low number of players online results in increased matchmaking time. Also, the balance of match selection is designed so that very strong and very weak players are thrown into one match, which does not bring pleasure or benefit to any of them.

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